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  • Outstanding Advocate Award

    2022 Outstanding Advocate Awardee: Craig Kliger, MD

    Awards Committee

    The Academy is proud to honor Craig Kliger, MD, with the 2022 Outstanding Advocate Award. This award recognizes Dr. Kliger for his expansive advocacy efforts and dedicated service to champion the profession and patient safety.

    The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) nominated Dr. Kliger for his more than 15 years of service as the executive vice president of CAEPS. He left clinical practice to become the only ophthalmologist to serve as a state society executive.

    As the executive vice president of CAEPS, Dr. Kliger has lobbied extensively and led coordinated efforts to protect patients’ vision. He has been instrumental in growing the state society, its PAC, participating and funding resident participation in the Academy Congressional Advocacy Day, and implementing plans for ophthalmology contacts with state legislators in a State Legislator Advocacy Plan. Dr. Kliger has forged strong relationships with the California Medical Association and other partners to build a coalition to support ophthalmology’s position at the state capital.

    Legislative advocacy is not the only way in which Dr. Kliger excels. His efforts have expanded public education in California, continuing medical education for ophthalmologists, trainee education about advocacy, and interactions with third-party payors and Noridian to improve patient access and develop appropriate models for reimbursement. Dr. Kliger was instrumental in establishing the Shulman Fellowship program in 2006 where every ophthalmology residency program in California would send an advocacy ambassador to the Mid-Year Forum. This program has raised awareness and increased advocates in California.

    Dr. Kliger’s long history of advocacy and exemplary service is an example for ophthalmologists on the importance of physician advocacy.